I recently had an opportunity to attend a special tasting menu for Darren’s Restaurant in Manhattan Beach. The event is a food / Macallan single malt scotch pairing which will be held on March 16. The event is already sold out.
So why write about it? Because the food was absolutely delicious and a food / scotch pairing is something that I never thought about before. (Full Press Story)
Understanding Darren’s, the upscale and quality-obsessed California cuisine restaurant in downtown Manhattan Beach, requires more than a recitation of its awards. Those recognitions certainly have piled up: a top-25 restaurants in L.A. ranking from Zagat, commendation for its wine list from Wine Spectator and citations for its service, among others.
To understand Darren’s requires more than a familiarity with its menu. It’s true, of course, that chef/owner Darren Weiss’s training in some of Hawaii’s finest kitchens is in evidence in the lineup of offerings. Apparent on the menu, too, is Darren’s quality-centric sourcing of ingredients, including dry-aged USDA Prime beef, fish brought in daily and house-made sauces and spices. (Full Press Story)
Your votes have been counted and here are LA’s Top 50 best restaurants: an eclectic mix of old-school classics, trendy hot spots and stellar newcomers. The list includes the city’s best fine dining spots but also top-notch pizzerias and outstanding delis and sandwich shops.
Darren’s is very proud to have come in at #25 on the list! (Full Press Story)
Darren’s — born again after several months of remodeling and retooling — may be the most grown-up restaurant in downtown Manhattan Beach.
There’s a certain undeniable Neverland quality to the South Bay’s beach towns and their restaurants; this is a world where you can be young forever amid the energy, the mixology, the chow and the general wacky weirdness of the area’s hottest eateries.
But Darren’s doesn’t feel like the sort of restaurant where you show up wearing board shorts and flip-flops. I’m not suggesting tie-and-jacket — heck, there isn’t a restaurant in the South Bay where either a tie or a jacket is called for —but I figure a decent pair of khakis and maybe a nice Tommy Bahama shirt would do. A fair understanding of our cuisine circa 2014 wouldn’t hurt either. Socks are optional. But reservations are necessary.
Those of us who are fans of chef Darren Weiss remember him from his first local restaurant, the tiny Cafe Catalina in Redondo Beach. He’s a chef with an impressive history. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he cooked at David Paul’s Lahaina Grill, Mark Ellman’s Avalon and the Grand Wailea Resort & Spa on Maui; the man’s beachside roots are well documented. After that, he was at Rockenwagner in Santa Monica before going his own way with Cafe Catalina. He headed for Texas for a stint and then opened the current Darren’s in 2007, which he reopened a couple of months ago. (Full Press Story)